LOW COUD AND A DASH OF SUNSHINE …. LOCH LOMOND TO FORT WILLIAM

On leaving the borders our mission was to fill up with cheap fuel in Glasgow ..A quick shop and off up to Loch Lomond for our over night stop at Firkin Point again found in Search4sites ..A Scotland Tourist carpark and loo .. GPS. 56.1696528,-4.6778557 …Flat ..but had to move from under the trees .. rain.. trees and a camper van don’t mix .. The rain on the trees drips heavily on to the metal roof and keep one awake grrrrr …

An old oak just behind Hetty

I decided to exceed my normal campervan cooking repertoire and dish up Liver n Onions ..Mash and Veg .. The consensus of opinion was delicious ..So many pans the washer upper complained ..It will be a while before I cook that again

Morning walk along the banks of Lomond with Ben Lomond across the Loch..The clouds trying to clear the peak ..In fact a little sunshine appeared ..

Classic Hymers seem to find each other and one turned up but sadly sounded like a formula 1 as his exhaust had fallen off on the Erskine Bridge and he was parking in this carpark awaiting a replacement . Hetty with new friend

The weather was kind to us as we wandered up through the glens …Autumn colour still on the trees ..

No rain and bits of sun until we reached Glen Coe ..Lunched in the carpark half way down and the rain came down .. Still glorious and stunning as it changed into somber colours as we passed the cairn commemorating The Glen Coe Massacre

GLEN COE

We’re now in Fort William ..In Lidl Carpark ..We asked at the store and were given permission to over night before going on to Ullapool to take the ferry to Stornaway on Lewis Thursday

morning ..

HETTY GOES TO SCOTLAND

VIA FLEETWOOD

At last an off .. Our Autumn travel plans have had to be put back a month and the original destination changed from the French coast and Spain to the Outer Hebrides ..The Western Isles Scotland.. Lots of reasons

1. Hot water boiler in Hetty knackered and a £500+ expense to have a brand new one fitted (Sadly as I write this blog John is on his hands and knees fixing the NEW boiler’s leak !!!)

2.Family ..and cat sitters ..Our trip was in the family diary for first week in September for two months but Family decided to take a holiday in USA ..Family are our cat sitters …sighs (Never have another pet one can not take away in a camper van ) .. New departure date was 2nd October.. No … Nana and GD were needed to pick Ruby (Granddaughter) up after nursery as the other Nana was away as well ..

3. 7th October prep for the off to Scotland and Northern lights with luck …NO… The Northern District RCLaser Championship He says ..sighs .. OK I say ..Packed and off to Fleetwood to sail our Radio Controlled Yachts ..YES and do not scoff ..me as well ..IMG_2748

It rained and rained on the M6 and M55 then a break in the clouds and the sun made an appearance in time for our supper at The Mount Pub over looking beach on a falling tide

Fleetwood is accommodating of Camper-vans as restrictions to park on the prom are nil ..No cost.. just park up and overnight making it one of the most used towns on the north west coast ..Lovely beaches and Fleetwood Market hall is a look back to the 1950’s ..well worth a visit ..

16 Skippers competed for the Northern Championship Cup .. John was 3rd and I wasn’t last .. Well in most of the races I was about 13th but that’s good for me ..IMG_2770.JPG

5pm Sunday 08/10/17 we are off to Scotland ..Autumn colours and sunshine.

Headed for Beattoch ..just over the border and a Pub stopover The Old Stables Inn found in Search4sites ..A web page for finding a sleepy spot en-route ..The pubs allow overnight parking in their car parks as long as you use the pub although we have come across one at Ribblehead where you can park and use the pub or not ..as the landlady said ..

The Old Stables Inn is quiet and flat for parking ..The food is pub grub .. My only complaint is our clothes now stink of cooking fat ..Chip frying .. My Bete Noir ..I hate smells permeating my clothes and hair ..cigarette smoke(xsmoker) has been put to rest now we need to ban chip frying in oil ..(I feel campaign coming on)

John seems to have fix the leaking boiler and the wet carpet is drying on the bike rack ..He’s an amazing fixer of anything broken ..

Off further North and just to decide which port to sail from whether it be Oban to Castlebay Ullapool to Stonaway or on to Skye and sail from Uig to Tarbert

INTRODUCING CREW HETTY AND LOTS OF BLOGGING

Me n Him n Hetty

Susan

That’s Me .. Him and Hetty Hymer like adventures ..I have travelled to many countries in my other life BJ  (before John)

Lots of Indian backpacking trips. .Panning gold in the Yukon..Pacific island hopping ..Far east and so on .

.John won’t go to India but I managed to get him to Morocco and Sri Lanka but didn’t expect a Tsunami.  TSUNAMI SRI LANKA

We both love sailing ..I’ve sail for ten years off the South Coast and met John Twenty plenty years ago when I moved back north at our mutual Sailing club Burwain SC on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border

John

He is an Allotmenteerer having taken over an allotment in Barrowford ..adding a polytunnel.. a green house and lots of raised bed for his produce ..not forgetting the potato growing areas ..Courgettes ..Carrots and Kale are collected and brought back to my kitchen.. Sound like a few more recipes should be added to the blog … just saying ! IMG_2265

Growing a lot of our own food ..We can’t travel with Hetty till autumn as the tomatoes won’t allow it ..

The reason I have been adding lots of stuff to my travelswithhetty.wordpress.com blog is because the company who are the Server of my newly created blog hettyhymer.co.uk are charging me a monthly arm and a leg and I have decided to let it go ..

All the new posts such as  Recipes and Fellow Adventurers blogs  are from that site ..

The Menu button is a map and info of our sleepy spots and places travelled in Europe and a few in U.K.

I have updated this site ..Putting posts into categories.. Eg:Italy ..France and all countries travelled which are in a side bar if using IPad see em in the long view …..

Recipes from travelling guest Chefs are in categories as well..Just have a search ..I hope you find it easier to navigate

HETTY will be off again soon but at the moment theres too much sailing going on……A RCLASER event in photos

JOHN

INTRODUCING HETTY HYMER CREW..JOHN

RADIO CONTROLLED YACHTING
MALTA IOM CHAMPIONSHIP ..

“MOULLES N BEACH”

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We didn’t know Dunkirk was such a lovely spot ..just had a good walk to stretch our legs ..Moulles and frittes on the prom ..that’ll do nicely for today ..

Sailing along very gently

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Beach huts!!!

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Whose that …

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Not  much breeze ….

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Sea walk …exercise …

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Still going …

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“HETTY ON THE ROAD AGAIN”

We’re back here on the Maltese Island of Gozo after a tiring trip from UK ,Managed to wake at 3-30 am worrying if all was prepared for our off ,Enough cat food to last ,15 packs of 12,Big cat litter,Cat nuts..Done.. Switched Leccy off to every appliance  Done …Stuffed as much as I can into my hand luggage ..Done.. Now to ring the taxi to pick us up at 4pm for the airport ,But NO ,Can we get hold of either of our choice of taxi,No, One seems to be defunct and the other went to answer machine ,Minor panic so John drove to the taxi office and booked ..An early pick up as the firm do school runs and had to be back ..1pm pick up ..2pm arrived at Terminal 3 ..We had considered going by bus and train but then bottled out ,Too much hassle ..A little lunch in the Italian in Terminal 3 was most acceptable then the delay ,Plane running late ,A good book is a godsend and the fun started ..At 7pm gate 55 was announced ..off every body strolled queued for an hour , Another announcement will all at gate 55 go now to gate 48 , All the priority booked passengers were obviously at the front of the queue at gate 55..oh boy can they run as the back of the queue was first at the gate 48..How we laughed as Me and Him were now 5th in order in the line , barge , elbow ..push me over if you dare priority passengers ..The admin gate girl sorted the priority people out ..sweaty ,red face ,puffing with their run, into another line .We are let through after these people who have been told to enter the plane by the front door as have we ..priority are waiting in the cold drizzle at the steps ..cleaners haven’t finished so for all Priority ..Extra money spent we all got on at the same time some colder than others ..Ohhow we laughed ..Non event flight, No delay at passport control ,Now to find the jeep left for our use in the carpark ,Same place as we left it last time , How easy is that, Thanks to Dave and Min Williams for that ..Made it for the 2am ferry at the north of the island, A little more bumpy than usual as its a force 7/8 in the channel between Malta and Gozo 20 minutes later we head for Kercem and our bed .The dog wants to share it and wakens us four times with licks.

HETTY COLLECTION DAY 

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BY JOHN

Collected by Dave this morning and off we go. On my arrival at the garage I was told that Hetty was in the storage compound and after paying (which was not as expensive as I had expected  (170 Euros) I would be helped to wash here .This was because Malta can suffer from rains with a southerly wind locally called BLOOD RAIN. This is when the rain cleans dust raised in Africa from the atmosphere and is very messy.

So I jumped into their recovery vehicle and was taken about 3 Kms to the yard and was introduced to the junkyard dog who was very friendly (But I bet its different after dark when the gate is locked) . Hetty was very much like a camouflaged vehicle from “desert storm” when I first saw her. After a quick power wash the worst was removed and I went on the roof to carefully wash off the brown skin on the solar panel and roof lights ,Power washing the rest and rinsing  clean. We had to clean her again to remove the run marks(now more like a red/brown slime). She is now looking ok but will need a proper wash sometime soon to get the shine back.

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The drive back to our Daughters house was uneventful and much quieter as the knock \grumble seems to have gone…but as she doesn’t get to 60Mph on Gozo and Malta it is near impossible to hear anything and  will not notice the full effect until we get on to roads in Sicily allowing higher speeds

Even with the coating on the solar panel all batteries are full . So Hetty will now have her water tank filled and a trip to Lidl to restock beer wine and of course food and we will be ready for our first night.

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE

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Emma mulling over a new project ..Lap dog ..Sunshine suites John

“HETTY IN HOSPITAL”

WHEEL BEARINGS

Hetty is in camper van hospital on Gozo and we are back in Barrowford after rocking and rolling across Gozo ferry ..across Malta ..the back way to the airport to fly back for childminding and cat sitting over the Easter School holidays

Hetty’s problem started with what J called a knocking …or was it just a noise ..He said he thought it was a wheel bearing which after the Gozo mafia had taken him and Hetty to a mechanic it was confirmed The garage is some where in Xaghra

Things you didn’t know about Xaghra A hill town above Marsalforn The Blackpool of Gozo Not really Blackpool ..No amusement park..

Arrangments were made to order the bearing and have the mechanic collect Hetty from her sleepy spot in Kercem outside Emma’s house (for the new reader of my blog Emma is our Daughter who has chosen Gozo along with her husband who works in Europe as her home and education of her sons  around twelve years ago )

This is the view from Emma’s house looking towards Victoria and the Citadel Lovely Victoria (Rabat) A view I never tire of in all the many times I have visited ..

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Monday was a day of cubs …we had to pick the boys up from scout campP1000956

after their easter outing of an over nighter in a field at the back of the carpark in Dwejra at The Azure Window …an amazing place to camp out ..although to the boys its just camp Azure Window P1000962.jpg

Picked up two very tired ,very dirty boys as the sun was setting P1000966.jpg

The mechanic couldn’t start until after our return to UK so John decided to take the keys for Hetty to the mechanic in Xaghra …Wont take long John said but he didn’t hit the streets of Xaghra the way he knew …We drove round that town for an hour …Could he find the garage NO …Would he ask NO ..I became quite embarrassed as we went into the square for the 10th time where old men drinking coffee in the cafe stared at these nutters in a Maruti jeep obviously lost …In the end we went back to Victoria ..took the road into Marsalforn and out to Xaghra ..Up the hill and found the garage first time …Handed the keys over .Now to wait for the job to be done ..Without an estimate ..but hey ho the job has to be done and its only money …

Headed for the airport ..First the ferry to Malta ..Then a drive across country to the airport and yes we got lost ..Entering the airport from the backside ..but arriving with time to spare for our Treat curtsy of Emma .The VIP lounge had been booked for us ..free lunch with wine free ,wifi ,news papers and comfy sofas

Now home

“TWO PROCESSION DAY”

P1000828.JPGDawn from Hetty over Fontana P1000836.jpgSt George’s Risen Christ procession Easter SundayP1000867.jpgNext stop The Cathedral in Victoria for the next Risen Christ procession ..The way down from the Citadel is very steep and the priest carrying must be pretty strong as they carry the statue , wood base ..marble dais down thirty steps then down the steep streets to Independence Sq..we watched with baited breath for a wobble but again they held their statue without incident Info re:Gozo n Victoria P1000883.jpgAfter watching for a while we bombed of in the Maruti jeep to Marsalforn via the salt pans some dating back as far as Roman P1000898.JPGHarbour at MalsafornP1000902.JPG

Colourful local boats and this 50 footer who sneaked past us into the bay ..P1000927.JPGLunch at Pierre’s the sea front and boat watchingP1000945 A bit of a sunset later in the day at Xlendi

I’m sorry we haven’t much more to say about Hettys travels but she is sitting on her tyres outside the Morgan house in Kercem …Resting ready for the next part of the adventure after we fly back from UK at the end of April…So that goodbye from ME and goodbye from HIM until then when we continue our adventure via Sicily, Tuscany, Venice, Lake Bled Slovenia, Austria and last but not least Germany .. well thats the plan but it could alter as we rather like this flying home and back again ..